Malta :ANZAC Centenary Stamp Issue

malta anzac stampCommemorating the ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) Centenary On 25 April 1915, thousands of young men of the Allied Forces stormed the beaches of the Gallipoli peninsula. The battle known as the Gallipoli Campaign was thought to put an early end to the Great War (1914-1918) by creating a new front that the Ottoman-German alliance would not cope with. The plan was to create another front, which would force the Germans to split their army further in order to support the lowly rated Turkish army. It was thought that when the Germans proceeded to assist the Turks, that would leave their lines weakened in the west or east and lead to greater mobility there as the Allies would have a weakened opposition.

After eight months of fighting the battle failed and the campaign was considered as one of the greatest Ottoman victories and a major Allied failure. Towards the end of 1915, the Allied forces were evacuated after both sides had suffered heavy causalities and great hardship. The Allied causalities included 21,225 from the United Kingdom, an estimated 10,000 dead soldiers from France, 8,709 from Australia, 2,721 from New Zealand, and 1,358 from British India.

As this was the first time that ANZAC soldiers went into action during the Great War, news of the landing at Gallipoli made a profound impact on Australians and New Zealanders at home. The troops’ action in the campaign is often considered as marking the birth of national consciousness in both countries. The date of the landing, 25 April is known as ANZAC Day, which is the most significant commemoration of military casualties and veterans in those two countries.

This year the ANZAC community will be commemorating 100 years since the Gallipoli landings. Indeed Malta also played a significant role in the Gallipoli campaign, not just as a back-up base for the Royal Navy but also as one of the major hospitals in the Mediterranean. Around 800 Maltese volunteers went to Gallipoli as muleteers or to dig the trenches and some even fought within the Australian ranks or worked as stevedores unloading the ships. This effort is considered to be Malta’s greatest contribution to the Allies’ efforts during that terrible war.

By the end of the War almost 58,000 men from the Gallipoli campaign had been taken to Malta to be treated for various wounds – 4,000 alone in May 1915 after the first week of the landings. There are about 300 Anzacs buried in Malta and who died from wounds suffered in Gallipoli

Issue Date: 25.04.2015 Designer: Malta Post p.l.c. Process: Offset  : 4 Colours Size: Miniature Sheet, 120mm x 75mm, Stamp, 41mm x 30.5mm Values: €3.59

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